8 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Bint Jbeil Ambush
News reports now state that eight soldiers were killed in an ambush this morning. Army sources knew this hours ago, but only released it to the media later.
As with the incursion into Jenin several years ago, the ambush was made possible because Israeli forces will not engage in aerial bombardment when they anticipate large numbers of civilian casualties. Since there are hundreds of Lebanese civilians still in Bint Jbeil, the Israelis went in on foot.
Remember that Jenin was routinely and falsely decried as an Israeli “massacre,” complete with its own propaganda film. Be prepared to hear similar talk of indiscriminate Israeli bombing (such as Kofi Annan’s baseless accusation that Israel’s strike of a UN outpost was “apparently deliberate” — given the UN’s previous complicity in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, Israel ought to be able to classify UN “observers” as an enemy force, but that’s another story).
Here are the facts: in Lebanon, as in the West Bank, Israel does not employ the same bombing tactics used by other armies — even at risk of soldiers’ lives. In this case, Hizbullah took advantage of their local human shields, and Israel’s young men in uniform paid the price.
If I understand this properly, the world will excoriate Israel in any event, so what is gained on balance by risking Israeli soldiers\\\’ lives to minimize civilian casualties? Were these civilians not warned enough times? The whole Hezbollah/Hamas/PLO strategy of embedding terrorists among civilians has been a brilliantly successful deterrent so far.
As regards the other recent problem of UN \\\”peacekeepers\\\” taking fire, these people failed to secure or keep the peace, but they did fraternize with and provide sensitive information to Hezbollah. There should be a deadline to pull them out. They would be more effective repaving Kofi Annan\\\’s driveway or watering his shrubs.
I empathize with Bob Miller; FWIW, last week I wondered aloud to friends&family why the IAF wasn’t bunker-busting in South Lebanon the way it was in the Beirut area. My guess is that the IDF has a “green light” to act in accordance with a higher standard but not to do anything which would force a premature end to the action against Hizbollah (in either direction, either due to external pressure or due to unexpected success).
I wonder how many times a day PM Olmert has to ask “may I?”
Or does he hold back without daring to ask?